Log Cabin Condemns Racist, Anti-Gay Group Linked to Lott, Barr

Praises Nicholson For Denouncing Council of Conservative Citizens; Echoes Call to All Republicans to Condemn Organization

January 22, 1999 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The nation's largest gay Republican organization joined Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson in condemning a racist, anti-gay organization calling itself the Council for Conservative Citizens (CCC), and called on all Republican officials to denounce the organization which has publicly linked itself to GOP leaders and initiatives.

"This organization profanes the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, and bigots must have no place in the Party of Lincoln," said Rich Tafel, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans. "Every Republican should speak out in uncompromising unison that bigotry on this scale is not welcome in the Republican Party."

Nicholson said in a statement on January 20 that "a member of the party of Lincoln should not belong to such an organization... The Republican Party rejects and condemns such views forcefully and without hesitation or equivocation."

News articles revealed that Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) and Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA), a House Manager in President Clinton's impeachment trial, were publicly linked to the CCC. Lott's association, according to the New York Times and the Washington Post, dates back years and includes numerous contacts including meetings, a speech at their convention, and an appearance in their newsletter. The CCC claims Lott as an "honorary member." Governor Kirk Fordice (R-MS) gave the keynote address at the CCC convention in November in Jackson, Mississippi. An article appearing in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger in November covered the event, and quoted several members in attendance with saying that Lott was indeed a member. When it was revealed over a month later by the Washington Post that Lott had addressed the CCC in Greenwood, Mississippi, saying that "the people in this room stand for the right principles and the right philosophy," Lott claimed to have "no first-hand knowledge" of the organization's views, and said he was not a member.

Tafel criticized CCC leader Gordon Baum for saying his followers were "key GOP supporters," adding that any Republican official who retains membership in the CCC or supports their agenda are unfit to hold office. RNC Committeman Buddy Witherspoon of South Carolina has publicly refused Nicholson's request that he resign his CCC membership.

"There can be no middle ground on this kind of bigotry," Tafel said. "Chairman Nicholson was right. These people are not what the Republican Party should be about. It's time for cowardice and pandering to extremists to end, and for the Republican Party to speak with one voice against bigots like this."